Pantelion Films is not letting the success of Instructions Not Included and Pulling Strings pass them by. The company has enlisted some Latino heavy hitters by individually signing Zoe Saldana, Wilmer Valderama and George Lopez to overall film and television production deals.
Lopez is already in production for Pantelion in New Mexico on La Vida Robot, a feature film that stars the multitalented actor. It’s based on a true story about four undocumented Mexican-American high school kids who build a robot as part of a science project and go on to compete in a national science competition. Fourteen-year-old Carlos Pena of Nickelodeon’s Big Time Rush has been cast in a major role.
Eva Longoria’s UnbeliEVAble Entertainment and Condé Nast Entertainment has landed a pilot at CBS, Real Deal, which centers on two polar opposite women, an ambitious FBI agent and an out-of-control criminal informant who must learn to work together. The series pilot is based on a 2005 Glamour magazine article, “The FBI’s Secret Weapon: Women” by Emily Benedek. UnbeliEVAble Entertainment has sold four other television projects this season—dramas at NBC, ABC and The CW as well as a comedy at NBC.
FX’s critically acclaimed and highly rated El Paso/Juarez-set The Bridge starring Demian Bichir has been renewed for a second season, and production on the new episodes will start in January. Demian is also enjoying his fair share of success by working non-stop. The Oscar nominees is back in his native Mexico City, where he’s making his directing debut with the feature film Refugio, which will star Eva Longoria in a lead role. Bichir will also act in the film along with his nephew, Jose Angel Bichir, and the actor’s younger Brother, Bruno Bichir, is producing the indie flick.
Former Ugly Betty star America Ferrera has inked a deal to star in a pilot for a new CBS dramatic television series, Damascus, in which the Golden Globe winner will play a crusading nun who practices law on behalf of the least fortunate. Her beliefs are tested when her life collides with an elite corporate lawyer. As the two set out to help those in need of justice, they come up against a ruthless secretive organization that is determined to stop them at all costs. This will mark the first series for the Emmy Award-winning Ferrera since Ugly Betty ended its run three years ago. The actress will be seen next March in the feature film Chavez playing Cesar’s wife and continues her guest-starring dramatic arc on the CBS series The Good Wife.
Oscar nominee Salma Hayek has been cast along with Jessica Alba to star opposite Pierce Brosnan in the romantic comedy How to Make Love to an Englishman, which is slated to begin filming in Cambridge, England, next month.
The beautiful and talented actress Genesis Rodriguez will share the silver screen with Liam Neeson and Ed Harris in the Warner Bros. crime thriller Run All Night, which is currently shooting on location in New York. Genesis is also set to star as the female lead in a new independent horror film, Tusk.
Director Patricia Riggen is in pre-production on The 33, the Chilean miners story starring Antonio Banderas and Jennifer Lopez that begins production in Chile in January. Banderas is currently in Bulgaria, where he’s shooting with Sylvester Stallone as one of the Expendables team in Expendables 3.
Howard Gordon, an executive producer for Homeland and a former showrunner for the series 24. is reteaming with his 24 executive producer Evan Katz for a serialized Fox legal drama, Trial of the Century, which revolves around a young Latina attorney working on a unique high-profile case.